Daylight Saving Time and Your Gadgets - What You Need to Know

It’s Time Again For Another Time Change

Clock clip art   Last year (2007) was the first time in 20 years that new days were established for changing to Daylight Saving Time. Chances are you survived last year’s change to Daylight Saving Time on March 11th and then back to Standard Time in November. The problem is unless your device was upgraded to use the new dates your clocks will not change automatically on the right day this year, the second Sunday in March (March 9, 2008) and your clocks may then mistakenly try and adjust the clock on the old date which was the first Sunday in April (April 6, 2008).

Using Retrevo to Set Your Clocks

Although some of your gadgets can get time updates over the airwaves or cable most will require manual setting. Retrevo can find the exact page in the user manual for most consumer electronics products like digital cameras, camcorders and VCRs. From any page on Retrevo.com you can enter the product name and model along with a phrase like “set time, change time, set clock, or change clock.”

Here are some examples on Retrevo:

Sony Camcorder : Sony DVD 505 set time

Panasonic DVR : Panasonic DMR ES25 set clock

Sony Bravia TV : sony bravia xbr 40 set clock

Cell Phone Clocks

Most cell phones synchronize their time to a central service and should receive the correct time on the correct day. If not, you may have to set the time manually.

For the Motorola v551:


Check the Clocks On Your Computers

There is a good chance that most administrators were able to get the patches and updates they needed for servers, desktops, and laptops from companies like Sun, IBM, Oracle, Apple, and Microsoft to make the time change transition automatic but just in case it’s a good idea for individuals to have automatic updates enabled on Microsoft Windows-based computers. Vista is all set with the new dates.

Automatic Updates screenshot

You reach this feature from the control panel

Control Panel screenshot

If you have the automatic adjust for DST box checked you need to have the update from Microsoft. If you have automatic updates enabled there's a good chance you already have the update.

Automatic adjust for DST screenshot


More Information on Daylight Saving Time

What is Daylight Saving Time?
Daylight Saving Time moves the clocks ahead one hour causing the sun, in affect, to set an hour later. The resulting extra hour of daylight in the evening saves energy, reduces traffic accidents, and even lowers crime rates.
*Even though it's acceptable to say Daylight Savings Time the correct way is Daylight Saving Time.

What's The Problem?
In the days of analog time keeping devices it wasn't a big deal to move the hour hand once around the dial. Today the average household has at least 5-10 devices with digital clocks; everything from computers to VCRs to thermostats.
Compounding the problem is the fact that many devices have been programmed to automatically reset the time on the day the time change normally takes place. Not only will the clock not be changed on the correct day but will change automatically again on the wrong day. Be sure to check the time again on the old dates to make sure the time doesn't get automatically changed.

Hold the Phone
This just in from a University of California study that used data from Indian which showed that DST does not in fact safe energy. Here’s a posting on that study from Chris Null.

Links to More Information
Everything you wanted to know and more from NPR

Another good article on DST

Microsoft's page on daylight saving time

Use Retrevo For All Your Gadget Needs

You’ll find reviews and manuals for all popular gear and gadgets like GPS, Digital Cameras, Camcorders, Cell Phones, Laptops, and more from manufacturers like Sony, Garmin, Panasonic, Toshiba, and more.


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